Places that inspired the world of the Midnight Guardian

Hurricane-Sandy-flavored-ice-cream-at-Magic-Fountain (1)Because the Midnight Guardian series is based in southern Ohio and because I actually live in southern Ohio, I’m often asked about places that I write. Everyone wants to know the same thing. “That place in the book seems so familiar,” they say, “what place is it really?”

The answer isn’t easy. I don’t write about a specific place and just change the name. My settings are often compilations of multiple locales with a dash of artistic flair mixed in.

I’m most asked about the Dairy Dog, a seasonal ice cream/hotdog stand in the series. These summer-only shops are part of the landscape in southern Ohio. You’ll find one in every town and village.

I took most of my inspiration from Briskers Dairy Bar (formerly in Oak Hill, Ohio) and the Dairy Boy in Crown City, Ohio. I also drew on my memories of the Jumbo (formerly in Rio Grande, Ohio) and Swirly Top (Jackson, Ohio). To those inspirations I added a much coveted strawberry shake, a gazebo with honeysuckle and twinkling lights, and in Shadows Rising I added live music.

For pics that inspire and remind me of Keira’s world, check out my ALL THINGS MOGDOC board on pinterest.

YA Indie Carnival…Location! Location! Location!

From the trapeze artist’s tent, I can hear the barker calling already, “Location! Location! Location!”. This week at the YA Indie Carnival the topic is Settings.

I am constantly enamored by the rural vistas of the Ohio River Valley (above). This photo actually comes from my farm which was the inspiration for the Hayes Family Farm in the Midnight Guardian series. One of the things I love most about those novels is that they give me the chance to write about a place that is very familiar, the Hayes Farm, and a place that is completely make believe, the Mogdoc Empire, a land of endless midnight sealed from the human world.

I’m currently working on a werewolf trilogy set Continue reading “YA Indie Carnival…Location! Location! Location!”

YA Indie Carnival: What Reading Teaches Me as a Writer

The topic of choice this week is “What Reading Teaches Me as a Writer/Reviewer”. This being a blog post, the value of brevity immediately comes to mind. Therefore, I present this week’s topic as a handy, dandy Top 5 List.

5. Friends with Layers. Supporting characters should be more than background. The best books have a memorable B-Team. Examples: Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dead as a Doornail, Marked

4. Location! Location! Location! A good story can be epic with a bit of set dressing. Interesting locales Continue reading “YA Indie Carnival: What Reading Teaches Me as a Writer”